From Samaira Mehta from the US, who at the young age of 11, launched the “Yes, One Billion Kids Can Code” initiative to help children gain access to coding tools by 2030, through, 16 year old aspiring aerospace engineer from the Gambia, Jakomba Jabbie who founded a robotics club to encourage her peers to take an interest in STEM, to Greta Thunberg, the 16 year old Swede who is courageously leading the fight against climate change, girls from all over the world, are proving that they have what it takes to drive change.
Their bold activism is defying repressive gender norms which tend to limit the potential of girls. They are asking for the respect and recognition of their rights to live free from gender based violence, discrimination and harmful practices. They are demanding access to tools and skills to enable them create the future of their own choosing.
By organising and leading movements within their societies to address social and racial injustice, they are demonstrating an awareness of the power of their voices, a consciousness borne from daring to explore their dreams for a better world. From small communities to big cities and global stages, girls are using their voices to break barriers and to demand change. It is reassuring to hear these voices echo all over the world and to see how they influence policy and impact change.
At Women in AI, we believe in a future where boys and girls have equal opportunities to assert their power by fully exploring their potentials. As these young ones take responsibility for their future, we are more than encouraged to continue playing our part in making the field we work in look like the world we aspire to leave behind for the next generations. We have tailored our research and education programs to encourage and provide mentorship for young girls interested in pursuing careers in STEM. Young people are pivotal to our mission to close the gender gap in the field of AI and we intend to work with them as partners and to create an equal future for all.
To our young, brave and daring girls out there who are pulling down barriers and charting the path to a more equal and fairer world for all, we hear you! We will amplify your voices to ensure an equal future, one in which every young person is free to dream as big and as wild as their imaginations would allow. Because therein lies the freedom to be!
Hanan Salam (PhD)
Co-founder, Women in AI